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Sanctions 7: Iran’s Economy by the Numbers

March 3, 2021
Iran’s economy has gyrated, often coinciding with the success or failure of international diplomacy. The fluctuations have been reflected in all basic data points, including the value of its rial currency, oil exports, gross domestic product (GDP) and inflation. U.S. sanctions have added to the…

Sanctions 8: Timeline of Sanctions

March 3, 2021
Since 2005, the United States has designated Iranian individuals, companies, and organizations for involvement in nuclear proliferation, ballistic missile development, support for terrorist groups, and human rights abuses. These designations have been made under the following presidential executive…

Sanctions 5: Trump's "Maximum Pressure" Targets

March 3, 2021
Between 2018 and 2021, the Trump administration imposed more than 1,500 sanctions on Iran or on foreign companies or individuals who did business with Iran. They targeted big institutions, such as the supreme leader’s office, the Revolutionary Guards and the Central Bank, as well as individuals.…

U.S. Sanctions Two Houthi Commanders

March 2, 2021
On March 2, the United States sanctioned two Houthi rebel commanders, Mansur al Saadi and Ahmad Ali Ahsan al Hamzi, for orchestrating attacks “impacting Yemeni civilians, bordering nations, and commercial vessels in international waters.” Al Saadi and al Hamzi “command forces that worsening the…

What Sanctions Iran Wants Lifted

March 2, 2021
The U.S. Institute of Peace interviewed Dr. Kenneth Katzman, a former CIA analyst, who is now an Iran expert at the Congressional Research Service. His responses are made in his personal capacity, not for the Library of Congress. Related Material: Sanctions 1: Impact of Iran's Oil Exports…

U.S. Strikes Iran-Backed Militias in Syria

February 26, 2021
Updated: March 2, 2021
On February 25, the United States conducted airstrikes in eastern Syria against Iran-backed militias in the first military action by the Biden administration. The Pentagon said that warplanes struck “several facilities” used by Kataib Hezbollah and Kataib Sayyid al Shuhada, two Iraqi Shiite…

News Digest: Week of February 22

February 24, 2021
February 22 Health: Tehran and Tokyo discussed using frozen Iranian financial assets in Japanese banks to purchase coronavirus vaccines. The Japanese ambassador in Tehran suggested the move during a meeting with Central Bank of Iran Governor Abdonnaser Hemmati, state media reported. Nuclear: …

Part 4: Restoring Limits on Iran's Nuclear Program

February 23, 2021
In February 2021, the Arms Control Association outlined the steps Iran would have to take to pull back from its breaches of the 2015 nuclear deal, initiated in May 2019, and return to full compliance. The following is its detailed rundown.   A year after former U.S. President Donald Trump…

IAEA Compromise on Nuclear Inspections

February 22, 2021
Updated: March 24, 2021
On February 21, Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) agreed on a compromise to deal with the new Iranian law that ends snap inspections of both declared and suspect nuclear sites. The arrangement will provide the nuclear watchdog less access to cameras installed at declared…

Part 3: Europe, Russia and China on U.S. Moves

February 22, 2021
Updated: February 24, 2021
Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia – the five other parties to the 2015 nuclear deal – largely welcomed the Biden administration’s three moves to jumpstart diplomacy with Tehran on its nuclear program. On February 18, the United States said it would meet with Iran and the five major world…

Part 2: Iran Rejects US Offer of Talks

February 19, 2021
Updated: March 3, 2021
On February 28, Iran rejected the U.S. offer to attend a meeting of the so-called P5+1 countries – Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States – to chart a diplomatic way forward on Iran’s nuclear program. Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said that the Biden…

Part 1: Biden’s Opening Bid on Iran Diplomacy

February 19, 2021
Updated: March 1, 2021
On February 18, the Biden Administration announced three opening moves to jumpstart diplomacy with Iran, with the goal of new talks that will ultimately lead to steps by both Iran and the United States to fully comply with their obligations under the 2015 nuclear deal. The three moves include: The…

U.S. ‘Prepared’ for Talks with Iran

February 18, 2021
On February 18, the United States told its European allies that it was ready for talks with Iran over returning to the 2015 nuclear deal. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken met with the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany to discuss Iran, Yemen, ISIS and Iraq, among other issues. “If…

News Digest: Week of February 15

February 17, 2021
February 15 Border: A massive fire at the Iran-Afghanistan border was extinguished after burning for three days. The fire erupted on February 13 when a fuel tanker exploded at the Herat border crossing. The explosion was large enough to be viewed from space. At least 20 people were injured by the…

Iran’s Missiles: Timeline of Attacks

February 17, 2021
Iran’s missile program, which dates back to the monarchy, has been an increasingly important military staple since the 1979 revolution, as the Islamic Republic’s warplanes became obsolete. In the mid-1980s, Tehran acquired Scud missiles from Libya, Syria and North Korea and also began adapting the…

Iran’s Missiles: Military Strategy

February 17, 2021
Assaf Orion is a senior research fellow at Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies and director of the Israel-China research program. He is also an international fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Orion, a retired brigadier general, was responsible for strategic…

Iran’s Missiles: Infographics and Photos

February 17, 2021
Defense Intelligence Agency estimates of missile ranges (2019) Iran has the largest and most diverse missile arsenal in the Middle East. It has hundreds of cruise and ballistic missiles with ranges from 200 km to 3,000 km (123 miles to 1,864 miles) and varying degrees of accuracy. Iran’s missile…

News Digest: Week of February 8

February 10, 2021
February 8 Diplomacy: Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met with U.N. Yemen envoy Martin Griffiths in Tehran. The two discussed backing a nationwide ceasefire in Yemen and reopening the Sanaa airport. Military: Iran, Russia and China announced that they would conduct joint naval drills in the…

Revolution at 42: Leaders on the Anniversary

February 10, 2021
Khamenei visits Khomeini's mausoleum on Feb. 1  On the 42nd anniversary of Iran’s revolution, its leaders focused heavily on the future of the nuclear deal and potential new diplomacy with the United States. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei demanded that Washington lift sanctions before…

Revolution at 42: In Photos

February 10, 2021
On February 10, 2021, Iran marked the 42nd anniversary of the Islamic Revolution with a socially distant parade featuring thousands of car, motorcycles and bicycles at Azadi Square in Tehran. The annual commemoration, which normally draws tens of thousands to hear official speeches, was limited to…

Sanctions 1: Impact on Iran's Oil Exports

February 10, 2021
Henry Rome is a senior analyst on Iran, Israel and global macro issues at Eurasia Group. Follow him on Twitter @hrome2. Related Material: Sanctions 2: What Iran Wants Lifted Sanctions 3: Iran's Economy in 2020 Sanctions 4: The "Chilling Effect" of U.S. Sanctions on Iran Sanctions 5: Trump's "…

Revolution at 42: U.S.-Iran Relations

February 5, 2021
Iran celebrates the anniversary of its 1979 revolution and the so-called “10 Days of Dawn” between February 1 and 11, when Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned from exile. John Ghazvinian is the author of the new book “America and Iran: A History, 1720 to the Present.” Born in Iran, Ghazvinian is…

News Digest: Week of February 1

February 3, 2021
February 1 Health: The government warned that most Iranians would have to wait until February or March 2022 to be vaccinated. Vaccinations for the elderly, health workers, people with disabilities and war veterans would begin in spring 2021. Space: Iran successfully tested a new space rocket, the…

Iran's Missiles: Transfer to Proxies

February 3, 2021
Updated: February 17, 2021
Since the early 2000s, Iran has supplied cruise and ballistic missiles to its proxies in at least three countries—Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen. Tehran’s transfer of missiles—which range from 120 km to 1,200 km, or 77 miles to 745 miles—allows its proxies to hit targets at further range and with greater…

Robert Malley on Iran

February 2, 2021
Updated: April 6, 2021
Before his appointment as Special Envoy for Iran, Robert Malley criticized the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran as ineffective. “Sanctions devastated Iran’s economy but achieved little else,” he wrote in Foreign Policy in December 2020. “Throughout Trump’s presidency…

News Digest: Week of January 25

January 27, 2021
January 25 Maritime: Tehran claimed that the seizure of an Iranian-flagged tanker by Indonesia on January 24 was due to a routine "technical issue." The Indonesian coast guard had seized an Iranian-flagged tanker suspected of illegal oil transfers in its territorial waters. The tankers were…

Brett McGurk on Iran

January 27, 2021
Before he was appointed to the National Security Council, Brett McGurk criticized the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran as counterproductive to U.S. interests. “Iran is now behaving more provocatively, not less,” despite extensive U.S. sanctions, he wrote in Foreign…

Colin Kahl on Iran

January 27, 2021
Before being nominated as Deputy Secretary of Defense for Policy, Colin Kahl pushed for renewed diplomacy with Tehran. “It would be wise for the administration to dial back the rhetoric, open high-level channels with Tehran, and signal a willingness to reenter the nuclear deal as a starting point…

Jonathan Finer on Iran

January 27, 2021
In 2020, before he was appointed Deputy National Security Advisor, Jonathan Finer charged that the Trump administration’s policy on Iran had failed.  “Iran’s behavior in the region, if anything, has gotten worse since maximum pressure began, and its nuclear program has moved closer to the danger…

Bill Burns on Iran

January 27, 2021
Before he was nominated as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, William Burns called for diplomacy with Iran to end the wars in Afghanistan and Yemen. “We should have no illusions that they will engage productively on all our concerns,” he wrote in May 2019, in an article with Jake Sullivan…